Following a breakout year by the No. 43 team, including a historic win in the Coke Zero 400, the U.S. Air Force will once again join Richard Petty Motorsports and the iconic No. 43 Ford team as a primary partner. Using the sponsorship as a vehicle to connect with America's best young adults, this will be the seventh consecutive season the Air Force logo will be on the No. 43.
Aric Almirola will once again pilot the No. 43 Air Force Racing Ford for the two most patriotic race weekends of the year: Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Fourth of July weekend race at Daytona International Speedway. In addition, Almirola will continue to support at-track swear-ins for the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and entertain active duty military guests.
Also, the U.S. Air Force will remain an associate partner on the historic No. 43 for the entirety of the 2015 season. The U.S. Air Force will continue their experiential marketing at NASCAR races, bringing the No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford show car and "Hangar 43" interactive display to environments where recruiters can connect with young adults. It will also continue to hold swear-in ceremonies of Airmen in the Delayed Entry Program at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, giving fans an up-close, in-person look at the moment when groups of young Americans commit themselves to serving their country.
Proving a great fit for the U.S. Air Force, Almirola was born on Eglin Air Force base in Florida while his dad served in the Air Force and appreciates the partnership and what it means for the Air Force. In 2014, Almirola drove the No. 43 Air Force Ford to victory at his home track, Daytona International Speedway, on the 30th anniversary of "The King" Richard Petty's 200th win.
"Working with the Air Force for the past three years has been really rewarding," said Almirola. "With my dad serving in the Air Force, I understand the sacrifice the men and women make to keep our country safe. It was great to be able to celebrate my first Sprint Cup win with the Air Force, and I'm so glad they will be back as we defend our win in the Coke Zero 400."
"To be a part of the DEP swear-ins on race weekends is such an honor," he continued. "To look into those faces and know how important the promise the young men and women are making and see their bright future never gets old. Walking around 'Hangar 43' reinforces the parallels of technology in NASCAR and in the Air Force. It's cool to see fans walk through and make that connection."
This season marks the Air Force's 15th season in NASCAR and seventh consecutive with Richard Petty Motorsports.
"The Air Force is excited to partner with Richard Petty Motorsports again in 2015, for the seventh consecutive season," said Col. Robert Trayers, Air Force Recruiting Service Operations Division chief. "NASCAR is a great venue for inspiring and building awareness about who we are as a service and what we believe. Additionally, it's also a great way to highlight the connection between our Air Force mission and the science, technology, engineering and math principles that play a major role in NASCAR."